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Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Wellsboro scored goals just 61 seconds apart, sandwiched around the halftime intermission, in a 3-0 win over Athens here Tuesday afternoon in NTL boys soccer action.

With the win, the Green Hornets sweep the season series from the Wildcats, and virtually assure themselves of winning the NTL title, snapping Athens’ six-year stranglehold on the crown.

The early portion of the game was an entertaining battle of runs and counter-attacks.

Athens junior Nate Quinn’s long-range shot from 40 yards out force Wellsboro keeper off his feet to make a leaping save just under the cross bar about seven minutes into the contest.

In the 11th minute, Wellsboro controlled the ball in the box in front of the Athens goal for about 20 seconds, firing off three shots, but none got to Athens keeper Asher Ellis, instead deflecting off Athens defenders.

Moments later, Quinn fired off a shot from about 25 yards out that clanked off the post.

With 11:44 remaining in the first half, Kaeden Mann’s shot from just inside the 18 deflected off an Athens defender and high into the air. As Wellsboro’s Jack PoirIer positioned himself for a header, Ellis attempted a leaping grab of the loose ball, resulting in a mid-air collision.

Ellis was whistled for a foul, and Mann converted on the resulting penalty shot, albeit off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net, to give the Green Hornets a 1-0 lead.

In the closing moments of the first half, Mann crossed a pass to Joseph Grab, who one-touched it back across the goal mouth to Jack Poirier at the far post. Jack Poirier volleyed it past a diving Ellis into the net to make it 2-0 with 21 seconds remaining.

Off the opening kick of the second half, Mann collected a loose ball in front of the Athens goal, and fired a shot through traffic into the back of the net to give the Green Hornets a 3-0 lead.

Wellsboro continued to keep the pressure on the Athens goal, but Ellis made a number of diving and leaping saves in the second half to keep the game within reach.

Wellsboro had a 25-12 advantage in shots-on-goal, and an 8-3 edge in corner kicks.

Ellis had 22 saves in net for the Wildcats, while Ethan Ryan had 12 for Wellsboro.

Athens, now 9-2, hosts Troy Thursday afternoon.



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